The Royal Family today paid tribute to Prince Philip’s work abroad, releasing a series of photographs showcasing his work around the Commonwealth as they revealed he had visited 70 per cent of the world’s countries.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who died last Friday at Windsor Castle aged 99, made 229 visits to 67 Commonwealth countries on solo visits without The Queen over a 67-year period between 1949 and 2016.
Philip, who completed a total of 22,219 solo engagements and thousands more at the side of his wife, became the Queen’s consort when she acceded to the throne in 1952 and completed his last public event in August 2017.
Today, the @RoyalFamily Twitter account released 12 photos of Philip showcasing his work, with the first post saying: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh was committed to the Commonwealth, meeting people from every walk of life.
‘Since 1949, HRH visited 70 per cent of the world’s countries; visited 50 Commonwealth countries; made 229 solo visits, often to the most remote parts of the Commonwealth.’
February 1977: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, both wearing Maori Kahu-Kiwi (Kiwi feather cloaks) at Rugby Park in Gisborne, on the North Island of New Zealand when they attended the opening of the Royal New Zealand Polynesian Festival
December 2003: The Duke of Edinburgh tours the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, on the opening day of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting
October 1997: The Duke of Edinburgh tries his hand at teaching English to Chitrali children at the Aga Khan School in Bilphok, North West Frontier Province, Pakistan
Undated: Prince Philip was a keen supporter of young people and is pictured here meeting Scouts in an unknown country
This post was accompanied by a photo from February 1977 of Philip with the Queen both wearing Kiwi feather cloaks at Rugby Park in Gisborne, when they attended the opening of the Royal New Zealand Polynesian Festival.
Another image showed the Duke of Edinburgh smiling as he toured the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, in December 2003; while a third showed him meeting Scouts in an undisclosed country.
The fourth image, taken in October 1997, showed the Duke trying his hand at teaching English to Chitrali children at the Aga Khan School at Bilphok in Pakistan in what was then known as the North West Frontier Province.
A second post on the @RoyalFamily account stated: ‘The Duke had a number of Commonwealth appointments over the course of his life, including with @thecgf (Commonwealth Sport), @THE_RASC (The Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth) and the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League.
‘HRH also had military affiliations in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago.’
This was accompanied by a further four photographs, including one of the Queen with Philip at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Baton relay launch ceremony at Buckingham Palace in October 2013.
Another showed Prince Philip meeting medal-winning athletes at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in September 1982, while a third showed him at the International Fleet Review in Halifax, Canada, in 2010.
The final Twitter post today from @RoyalFamily stated: ‘In 1956, HRH founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences, bringing together emerging Commonwealth leaders.
October 2013: Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Baton relay launch ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London
September 1982: Prince Philip meets medal-winning athletes at what is thought to be the Brisbane Commonwealth Games
Undated: The Queen and Prince Philip meet servicemen at an unknown event also highlighted in the series of pictures
June 2010: Prince Philip in front of HMCS St John’s after the International Fleet Review in Halifax, Canada
‘The @CommonPurpose conferences have continued to this day, and over 10,000 people having participated in The Duke of Edinburgh’s leadership programs.’
Three pictures accompanying this post showed him at Australian National University in Canberra in May 1968, in Canada in May 1980 and at a Buckingham Palace reception for Commonwealth leaders in April 2014.
A fourth Twitter post added: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh held Patronage appointments in 12 different Commonwealth countries, including: @BNTBahamas, @Ngr_Brit_Asso, @SLSAustralia and @OutwardBoundCan.’
A similar Instagram post was also published by @theroyalfamily account today, which featured all the pictures on Twitter plus two more – including one of Philip during a walkabout in Melbourne in October 2011.
It comes as hundreds of politicians and peers shared personal tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh as his grandsons hailed him as an ‘extraordinary man’ and a ‘legend of banter’.
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex recalled their grandfather as an individual ‘authentically himself’ filled with warmth and wit and devoted to the monarch, as they joined the nation in honouring his memory.
May 1968: Prince Philip at Australian National University in Canberra opening the Sixth Commonwealth Study Conference
May 1980: The Duke of Edinburgh stands with Commonwealth Study Conference participants in Canada
April 2014: The CSCLeaders conference, a programme for Commonwealth leaders, has a reception at Buckingham Palace
On a day of eulogies for Philip yesterday, hours of tributes were also heard in the Parliaments of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff – including by more than 100 MPs in the House of Commons.
William and Harry released separate statements to pay tribute to Philip, with the older brother pledging to uphold his grandfather’s wishes and continue, along with wife Kate, to support the Queen and ‘get on with the job’.
Reflecting on how his grandfather’s ‘century of life was defined by service’, William added: ‘I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days.’
He added: ‘My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation. Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support the Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.’
Harry, who is quarantining ahead of Saturday’s funeral at his former home of Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, released a more informal statement, describing the duke as ‘my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right till the end’.
He said: ‘My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm – and also because you never knew what he might say next.’
October 2011: The Duke of Edinburgh is given flowers for Queen Elizabeth II during a walkabout in Melbourne, Australia
A second further image released on Instagram showcasing how Prince Philip was ‘committed’ to the Commonwealth
Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the tributes in the Commons, saying Philip ‘touched the lives of millions’.
‘It is fitting that on Saturday his Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be conveyed to his final resting place in a Land Rover which Prince Philip designed himself, with a long wheel base and capacious rear cabin,’ he said.
‘Because that vehicle’s unique and idiosyncratic silhouette reminds the world that he was above all a practical man, who could take something very traditional – whether a machine or, indeed, a great national institution – and find a way by his own ingenuity to improve it, to adapt it for the 20th and 21st century.’
Other politicians described Philip as a ‘role model’, and said his ‘greatest memorial’ was his 73-year marriage to the Queen.
Over the weekend, Philip’s four children spoke movingly about the loss of their father and how the Queen was being very ‘stoic’ after losing her husband of 73 years who died peacefully on Friday.